Thursday, March 20, 2008

Callahan on Her Past Voting and Experience

Farm Broadcaster Colleen Callahan is running as a Democrat for Congress in Illinois 18th District to replace retiring Ray LaHood. She was explaining yesterday why she believes her experience is more relevant than her opponent Aaron Schock and why she has voted for Republican's in the past:

The 57-year-old farm broadcaster, asked how she can convince voters to pick her over Schock, talked of her time with WMBD radio in Peoria, and how she is someone who “served her employer for 30 years, stayed at one place that entire time, educating, informing, communicating, representing.”

She said she gave two years’ notice before leaving to form her own consulting firm, providing time for training a successor.

“That’s commitment,” Callahan said. “That’s reliability. That’s responsibility. That’s everyday, real-world life experiences … That’s the differentiation.”

But she had to explain why she had raised money in the past for Republicans:

Callahan, by the way, said she shares respect for LaHood — and while she’s always pulled Democratic primary ballots, she and her husband, DICK BURNS, hosted a LaHood fundraiser at their farm in Kickapoo in 2006.

“Clearly, we’re Democrats,” she said, but they were “happy to do this because we believe in Ray and how he has served the agricultural community.”

Does raising money for a Republican hurt her standing as a Democrat?

“I think it speaks well for my credentials in that the true spirit of good government is bipartisanship and to reach across the aisle, to make the kinds of things happen that are expected to happen within your district,” Callahan said. “You can’t do it effectively any other way.”

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